Mine spill raises concerns over city water, Helena officials say

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Ten Mile Creek, Helena’s primary source of water, is pictured on July 1 in this IR file photo.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record Nolan Lister

Helena city officials said Monday a mine spill has occurred in Ten Mile Creek, but that it is below the city’s water supply.

City Manager Rachel Harlow-Schalk in her update to the city commission said there is a “significant amount of contamination in the creek, and the team is watching for it.”

“It’s good that it was below our water supply. It’s bad that it could eventually reach our water supply,” Harlow-Schalk said, referring to the fact that water in the immediate region ultimately reaches the Missouri River, the city’s secondary source of water.

Helena’s Director of Public Works Ryan Leland provided clarification during the meeting.

“We are just seeing the color from the mine that went down,” Leland told the commission. “We just discovered that today and notified the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality).”

Leland said the EPA was conducting testing on

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